We had a wonderful day in the ballroom at Blackpool tower being entertained by hundred’s of local school children dressed in black and white performing the Charleston, complete with the wurlitzer that rose out of the stage. The event was in honour of not Gordon Young’s birthday but also the launching of the Comedy Carpet book about the work of Gordon Young and fellow designer Andy Altmann. It was an honour to meet Gordon, who is such an immediately likeable artist and his lovely team. We are very excited to be the owners of our very own, signed copy of the book!
The Comedy carpet is situated opposite Blackpool Tower in front of Blackpool Tower, the 2,200m2 work of art contains over 160,000 granite letters embedded into concrete. It refers to the work of more than 1,000 comedians and comedy writers, the carpet gives visual form to jokes, songs and catchphrases dating from the early days of variety to the present. It is so visually spectacular and complex it was a daunting task for us to set about finding a way to navigate the carpet, it’s jokes, comedians spanning the last century, their catchphrases and comedy props in a way that children could engage with. We hope via a family board game that it might spark discussion across the generations and give the youngsters of today an idea of British comedy.
The event was also an opportunity to show our comedy carpet board game which we have worked on with school children in Blackpool schools as part of the larger Comedy Carpet School’s programme. It is hoped that the board game can be developed further and could go into production. Gordon Young was delighted that not only was the carpet always occupied by visitors, day or night, rain or shine but also that it had lead to other’s giving it a life of their own. Within the school’s programme it has not only inspired the making of an educational board gambit also the making of a black and white film of the Charlston on the Comedy carpet but also workshops surrounding the circus, drama , mask making and stand up comedy exploring the difference between positive and negative humour. We are very envious of the school children in Blackpool for being offered such a varied programme of education.
“The Comedy Carpet, Blackpool” A work of art by Gordon Young designed in collaboration with Why Not Associates is now for sale ISBN 978-1-86154-339-4
We ended our visit to Blackpool by popping into the Me&FYC Pop up Boutique for some xmas pressies. Fabulous work by 17 local and regional designer makers. Not only are the items all hand made with love, care and skill by individuals and offer a real alternative to mass produced items but are incredibly affordable therefore accessible to all. To all those with the physique for a poncho I’d say go snap up the EXQUISITE pieces by Crafty Cloth! There are handmade soaps, jewellery, glassware, cards, textile home ware, clothes, up cycled book decorations, fabulous lighting… the list goes on!